While I want a win, or a clean sheet, what I would really like to see is evidence of what we have learned since Anderlecht ran through us in Glasgow two months ago. We have a genuine chance to eliminate a stronger opponent and reach the last 16 of the Europa League, but merely hoping the same strategy that was so overwhelmingly ineffective at home to PSG, Bayern and Anderlecht, will work better this time, is not going to cut it.
Let’s keep it tight until late in the game, when Zenit’s energy levels will be stretched. I also think we get more out of Forrest, Sinclair and Dembele with space to exploit in the forward third. I know we are unpractised at this, but, all going well, we will face far stronger opponents in September, when a polished rear-guard action will definitely be needed.
Today’s lesson: how to defend against skillful opponents.